Neo Tokyo: A GSX-R750 ‘slabby’ from Cool Kid Customs

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
We’re all for elegant, understated customs—but sometimes nothing beats the sheer visual impact of a heavily modified sportbike. And this 80s Gixxer is as subtle as a brick through a window.

The builder is Michel Szozda of Cool Kid Customs, who caught our eye with a slick Kawasaki ZZR600 a few months ago. He’s based in Haarlem, just west of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and shares an after-hours workspace with friends: “They all do something different, but all love motorcycles. I’m just doing what I love and calling it a ‘job’,” he says.

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
Michel has a thing for sportbikes, and for this new build, he’s chosen one of the all-time greats: an early Suzuki GSX-R750 ‘slab side’, with the original air-and-oil-cooled engine that’s good for a cool one hundred horsepower.

“I always wanted a first generation GSXR,” says Michel. “I’ve always liked the lines and history of the bike. So I bought one four years ago, as a non-runner.”

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
Michel fixed it up just enough to become useable, and rode it for a couple of years while he figured out what to do next. “I researched the first-gen ‘Slabbys’,” he says, “looking up information about upgrades, the race history and so on. And I started to upgrade the bike, little by little.”

Michel started by swapping out the engine for a second generation GSX-R750 unit: the later short-stroke ‘Slingshot’ motor has more power, thanks to a better ‘dot’ cylinder head with bigger valves and ports, and more aggressive cams.

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
“The original engine was worn out and burning oil,” says Michel. “I got the second one cheap, so I did not have high hopes—but after installing it, it ran like new! It came off a 1989 GSX-R.” To make the most of the updated engine, Michel also ditched the stock 29mm carbs and replaced them with Mikuni BST36 Slingshot carbs, fitted with a Tovami jet/needle kit and Slingy manifolds.

The bike came with an aftermarket Motad Nexxus exhaust, but the back half was chromed. So Michel welded on a new end pipe and fitted a muffler from the Italian brand Mass Moto.

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
On the road, the brakes quickly revealed themselves as a weak point. “They gave up on me,” Michel recalls. “But instead of revising them, I swapped out the whole front end.” He’s installed the forks, six-pot Tokico calipers and wheel from a year-2000 GSX-R750 SRAD (Suzuki Ram Air Direct). The rear wheel now comes from the same bike, allowing a 190-section back tire to be squeezed on, and the soft rear shock was replaced by a WP racing shock—“Which upgraded the handling 1,000%!”

Then Michel’s girlfriend bought him a Yoshimura seat unit for his birthday, so he got rid of the original huge tail section, relocated all the electronics, and turned the Gixxer into a one-seater.

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
In the process, he had to make a new subframe to suit the bodywork, but he entrusted the seat pad to the Amsterdam specialist Silver Machine. They’ve used real leather, with a dot pattern and the CKC logo laser printed into the seat surface.

Having got the seat up to spec, Michel decided to improve the overall riding position. “The low clip-ons were killing my back,” he reports. “So I ordered a top yoke for higher bars, and topped it off with ProTaper handlebars. But the fairing did not work with the high bars.”

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
Michel messed around with different fairing designs and even made a mold for a custom fairing at one point, but nothing really matched. Then he noticed a Suzuki GSX750 that belonged to a friend, lying around unused in a workshop. He test-fitted the GSX fairing, found it to be a perfect match, and bought a secondhand one.

“I knew I wasn’t going to go with the original glass headlight, though. I had some yellow forklift lights lying around, so I welded up a bracket so I could stack them on top of each other,” says Michel. “Are they EU approved? Nope! Do they look cool? Yes!”

Custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby by Cool Kid Customs
After a complete rewire of the electrical system, Michel fitted a Daytona ‘Digital Velona’ combined speedo and tachometer and turned his attention to the paint.

He decided on a striking red, black and yellow scheme with strong graphic impact—inspired partly by the Wu Tang Clan, and partly by the 1988 Japanese animated film Akira. That explains the name of the GSX-R too: ‘Neo-Tokyo.’

It’s not the kind of bike you’d expect to see in the genteel, ancient city of Haarlem. But a little bit of cyberpunk dystopia is always welcome, isn’t it?

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Michel Szozda and his custom Suzuki GSX-R750 slabby